Sunday, July 19, 2015

Before moving onto to Amsterdam, let me just say one more thing about the last night in Paris. 

I had a date with the Eiffel Tower for 10 p.m. and read on “my” bench until the twinkling began.  (I'm not kidding, daylight is strong enough to read by it until nearly 10 p.m.)  Afterwards I connected with some of my friends for a late dinner when an unexpected hail storm made our restaurant choice.  I thank the weather gods for steering our group to what turned out to be the best meal I had this week!  Strangely enough, the best meal I enjoyed in Paris turned out to be authentic Italian. 

Before departing from Paris, I took one more farewell walk and enjoyed a final allong√©.  I was part of the first group to head to out to the Thalys rail line that would take our group to Amsterdam. 

Did I mention that during our week in Paris we endured very hot temperatures with only a few museums with comfortable air conditioning?   I mention this not to complain – make no mistake, I loved my week in Paris – but rather to emphasize the collective sigh of relief we felt when we boarded the train to Amsterdam and felt the climate control. 

First impressions are lasting impressions, they say, and Amsterdam truly made a strong and good first impression.  

First impressions are lasting impressions and Amsterdam truly made a strong and good first impression.  As we made our way to our hostel I enjoyed the clean and fresh smell of the city.  Amsterdam’s commitment to green living is obvious and there exists an efficient vibe that is reinforced by the smooth flow of multiple modes of transportation.  To the uninitiated to the logic of the traffic flow and lane designations may seem chaotic but there is delightful logic to it.

Amsterdam appears to have struck a happy balance between old world and modern times.  

Our hostel hosts provided a dinner was a healthy and delicious experience partly because of a travel fast between breakfast and dinner, but also because the fare was heavy on the vegetables! 
I have to wrap things up and rest for a 6:30 run with my friend tomorrow followed by our first full day in Amsterdam!